EXCLUSIVE: Let Me In and Cloverfield director Matt Reeves has been chosen by Warner Bros to direct The Twilight Zone, the Jason Rothenberg-scripted thriller based on the classic Rod Serling TV series. Negotiations will get underway early next week, but this is an assignment that was coveted by a number of top directors.
The Twilight Zone is being produced by Appian Way partners Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran, and Michael Ireland. Warner Bros’ Matt Cherniss is the exec. Though the last Twilight Zone film was an anthology with different directors, this one is a big science fiction action movie with a single freestanding story that is linked to the original series mainly in that it shares that familiarly eerie feel. The hope is to sign to sign Reeves quickly, continue to work on the script and get the picture into production by next summer.
Reeves is aligned with several major projects that will keep him busy for some time. He recently signed on to develop to direct This Dark Endeavor, a revisionist take on the Frankenstein tale based on Kenneth Oppel’s novel, with Jacob Aaron Estes writing the script for Summit Entertainment. Reeves is also attached to direct the Justin Cronin vampire novel The Passage for Fox 2000, and he’s got a deal at Universal to write and direct a film based on the Ray Nelson short story 8 O’Clock in the Morning, about a man who awakens with the realization that aliens are all over the place and control society. Reeves is repped by CAA and 3 Arts.
EXCLUSIVE: Andrew Meieran and his Bureau of Moving Pictures has acquired rights to make a movie about Rod Serling, the Twilight Zone creator who left behind a remarkable legacy of sci-fi and fantasy work. Stanley Weiser, who wrote Wall Street with Oliver Stone, will script the movie. Serling’s widow Carol Serling will be a producer along with Meieran.
Before he became an iconic TV figure, Serling had a life of struggle that included a stint as a paratrooper and member of the demolition squad in the Army during WWII. Stationed in the Philippines, he saw more than his share of death as the US battled the Japanese, and his experiences would inform much of what he would write later. He worked his way into radio and then became a TV writer who found his niche with the CBS series Twilight Zone, a series that elevated scripted television with thought-provoking science fiction tales, each with a great and unexpected plot twist. The segments have influenced a legion of TV and feature writers to this day. If you don’t understand the reference “It’s a cook book!,” you could do worse than go back and watch the original episodes.
Serling hatched another memorable TV anthology series a decade later in Night Gallery. Movies were made from both series, there’s a lively Tower Of Terror theme-park ride that incorporates Serling and a haunted hotel, and Serling also co-wrote with Michael Wilson the script for the 1968 sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes, based on the Pierre Boull novel. Serling died at 50, from complications stemming from chain-smoking cigarettes his entire adult life. Read More »